The brilliant marketer Seth Godin once said in an interview that marketing is “the art of telling a story that resonates with your audience and then spreads.”
In another blog post, he defines marketing as the “conversations it causes and the connections it makes.”
So what’s going on on here? How has marketing evolved so far beyond banner or magazine ads?
The Ad Filter
Our idea of marketing has clearly deviated from the traditional view that marketing and advertising are one and the same.
Traditionally, advertising was about blasting your message as loudly as possible to as many people as possible. From highway billboards to newspapers to television, these messages were just meant to reach the largest audience.
In pre-internet days this worked.
However, the human brain adapted – it always does.
We have started to filter our most of these advertising messages to the point that traditional advertising was simply not effective.
The “ad-filter” in our brain is so effective, that most of the ads we now see are processed in our brains as noise and never get our attention.
From Interruptions to Conversations
So how do we move away from using advertisements to interrupt as many people as possible, to using marketing to create conversations with them?
To answer this questions, we have to go back thousands of years. Before the internet, TV, or even books, we used stories to pass on messages.
Stories spark the imagination.
Stories ignite our curiosity.
Stories are the catalyst for conversations.
How to Get Noticed in the Attention Economy
In the attention economy where attention is a scarce resource, being louder doesn’t work. The louder we are, the easier we make it for our audience to ignore us.
Instead, earning attention and building trust are the fastest way to making a profit.
The fastest way to earning attention is through storytelling.
In 1999, long before the days of social media, Nike was perfecting the art of brand storytelling.
In a 1 minute video to commemorate the amazing career of Michael Jordan, there was no mention of Nike, nor the famous swoosh, till the last 2 seconds.
Marketing is everything you do in your business. It’s built into the DNA of your brand.
Marketing is everything from your logo to the tone of your emails to the way you greet your customers.
Stories are the medium through which you can share your brand’s message with those that care.
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